This one should be called a train can come anywhere, on any track at any
I am not clear where this took place. Lets keep in mind that the track
configurations that are in place today are not the same as what they once
As a railroad guy, there is at least one thing that you are absolutely NOT
supposed to do. A railroad guy never crosses the grade crossing in his car
when the gates are down.
Any way one day this conductor comes to the grade crossing on the way to the
yard office. The crossing signals are flashing. They had been moved many
years ago forward to the main track as the company had picked up several of
the yard lead tracks. He knows there is no scheduled train movement but
sees the gates are down. Now this conductor works the freight job and since
he is the freight conductor he knows the local job is not going anywhere
until he arrives.
The frustration of waiting for the gates to go up, however, begins to wear
thin on the veteran. About this time, he realizes that there is something
moving in the old yard track just to the right of his car. Odd the conductor
thinks, but his focus quickly returns to the still down gates.
Just then an extra comes along with a long cut of cars obviously to be
dropped at the yard. The extra has pulled in from the terminal yard and this
adds to the frustration of the conductor. The engine spews steam as it pulls
past the grade crossing and the now late conductor watches in frustration as
the engine pulls ten, eleven, twelve cars past him slowing down until
finally coming to a stop.
Out of the corner of his eye, movement catches his attention....... it is
the end of a boxcar and it is moving down a seldom used yard track that is
outside the crossing protection. This is when the conductor realizes he is
sitting on the supposedly out of service track. The crossing gates were
between the out of service track and the first main track. No problem
though, the conductor puts the car in reverse and hits the gas.......and
runs the back of his sedan into the front end of a pickup truck that has
stopped behind him. The conductor gets out of the car and looks back at the
driver of the pickup who is also getting out of his truck
Meanwhile the errant boxcar that got started down the seldom used (But never
actually taken out of service) track comes to a gentle stop with the coupler
pushing a nice dent into the passenger side door of the conductor's car.
There was much explaining to do.................
And that is another tale From The Archives..................................
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